Rose Gonzales

Rose Gonzales was born just after the turn of the 20th century at San Juan Pueblo. The swine flu pandemic that swept across the world around 1918 wiped out most of her family, except for a sister and an aunt, Mary Cata. In 1920, she married Robert Gonzales and moved to his home at San Ildefonso Pueblo. Her sister came, too. It was her husband's mother, Ramona Sanchez Gonzales, who taught Rose how to make pottery.

By 1930 Rose was known for producing highly polished red and black ware. That was the year she carved her first pot. She credits her husband for finding a shard out in the woods while he was hunting, a shard that gave her the idea. But she carved her first pot and that began a design tradition that continues. She would carve her pots with a sharp knife or a chisel, then sand the edges. Then she would sometimes paint more, sometimes not. She taught her son, Tse-Pe to make pots, too, but he preferred the sgraffito method to carving. Rose also taught Tse-Pe's wife Dora Tse-Pe, and their daughter Irene.

Rose's innovations have made a lasting effect in the world of pueblo pottery. She died in 1989.

Avanyu design carved into a tall-necked black jar
Tall-necked black jar carved with avanyu design
7 in H by 4 3/4 in Dia
Kiva step and geometric design carved into a black jar
Black jar carved with kiva step and geometric design
3 1/2 in H by 4 in Dia
Avanyu and kiva step design carved into a black jar
Black jar carved with avanyu and kiva step design
11 1/4 in H by 7 1/2 in Dia
Thunderbird design carved into a black plate
Black plate carved with thunderbird design
1 1/2 in H by 12 1/4 in Dia
Polished red bowl
Polished red bowl
4 1/2 in H by 8 3/4 in Dia
Kiva step and geometric design carved into a polished red jar
Polished red jar carved with kiva step and geometric design
8 1/2 in H by 6 1/2 in Dia
Avanyu design carved into a polished black jar
Polished black jar carved with avanyu design
6 3/4 in H by 8 1/2 in Dia
Pair of boot-shaped black on black candlestick holders
Pair of black on black boot-shaped candlestick holders
4 3/4 in H by 5 3/4 in Dia
Measurement of largest piece
Eagletail design carved into a black jar
Black jar decorated with a carved eagletail design
6 in H by 7 in Dia
Cloud and geometric design on a black on black jar
Black on black jar decorated with a cloud and geometric design
3 1/4 in H by 2 1/2 in Dia
Pottery photos courtesy of Andrea Fisher Fine Pottery